WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP -- As the Penguins stand on the brink of their fourth Stanley Cup championship, a lot of the team’s success can be traced right back to Mohegan Sun Arena near Wilkes-Barre.
Penguins fans crowded into Lucky’s Sporthouse just a long slap shot from the arena where they hoped to watch the team from Pittsburgh clinch the Stanley Cup.
These fans know the big Pens wouldn't be there without the contributions from several players who started their season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Matt Murray, Scott Wilson, Tom Kuhnhackl, Derrick Pouliot, Conor Sheary, and even head coach Mike Sullivan all were promoted to Pittsburgh and all are playing a significant role for the cup finalists. Adam Harbaugh from Edwardsville remembers Conor Sheary from the player’s days on Wilkes-Barre.
"They contributed a lot this season and I think it turned our season around when coach Sullivan moved all those players up. He knew what they had to play for and it’s been working out really well," Harbaugh said.
"I think it worked out well because Wilkes-Barre played well in the Calder Cup playoffs and now Pittsburgh is a Stanley Cup finalist. I think it worked out for those guys up in Pittsburgh now,” said John Usavage of Kingston.
"What can we say about Matt Murray? He's absolutely incredible, Conor Sheary, Bryan Rust, Tom Kuhnhackl, those guys have stepped up tremendously,” said Ben Martello of Edwardsville.
However, the celebration will have to wait. The Penguins lost game five of the Stanley Cup playoffs 4-2 to San Jose Thursday night.